THE NATION’S Memory Institute (ÚPN) published the complete organisational and personnel structure of the units involved in guarding the borders of communist Czechoslovakia from 1951 to 1973, thus completing its online overview of the secret police’s border unit during the entire period from 1951 to 1989.
“Our research identified 100 cadre members of the intelligence units of the 11th brigade of the Border Guards,” Ivan A. Petranský, the director of the ÚPN’s board, said as quoted by the SITA newswire.
The principal activity of these individuals was spying on people living in Czechoslovakia and preventing them from fleeing abroad, since after 1948 the borders with Germany and Austria were the sites of numerous escape attempts. Many who attempted to flee were shot dead by the border police or killed by landmines.
According to the Sme daily, Milan Lovich, currently an official at Slovakia’s Environment Inspectorate, was a member of the border unit of the secret police, the ŠtB. Lovich said he had no comment, while a spokesman for the Environment Inspectorate, Michal Štefánek, said Lovich had the best qualifications for his position.
The border between Czechoslovakia and Austria near Bratislava was also ‘protected’ by an Austrian pub owner and by Austrian customs officers who received money for spying and delivering persons back to Czechoslovakia, Sme reported, writing that a certain Austrian customs officer from Kittsee provided 165 pieces of intelligence information at 52 meetings with the border police and received 39,000 Austrian schillings in reward.
6. Jun 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff